Two suspicious deaths in Kerala's Kozhikode district have raised concerns about the resurgence of the Nipah virus, leaving the public alarmed about the virus's reappearance after 2021.
On Monday, the Kerala Health Department issued a statewide alert following two seemingly "unnatural" deaths reported in Kozhikode, suspected to be linked to Nipah Virus infection.
It was also noted that both individuals had experienced intense fever, a common symptom of the Nipah Virus. This factor contributed to speculation that the cause of these two "unnatural" deaths was the Nipah virus.
Kerala has had prior encounters with the Nipah Virus, particularly in the Kozhikode region.
If these speculations prove accurate, it won't be the first time Kozhikode has witnessed the impact of the Nipah Virus.
The initial outbreak of the Nipah virus in southern India occurred in 2018, originating in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
Subsequently, the region faced a significant resurgence of the virus in 2021, beginning with the death of a 12-year-old boy reported at a private hospital in Kozhikode on September 5, 2021.
A 12-year-old boy in Kerala dies of Nipah virus infection, says Health Minister Veena George— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 5, 2021
As a result, it's not surprising that the people of Kerala carry a sense of trauma when it comes to the Nipah Virus.
The severity of the Nipah virus even made its way to the silver screen in 2019 with the Malayalam movie "Virus," directed and co-produced by Ashiq Abu. The film portrayed the harsh effects of the virus outbreak in Kerala.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nipah virus infection can potentially transmit from animals to humans, classifying it as a zoonotic ailment. It can also spread through contaminated food or direct human-to-human interaction.
For those infected with the virus, it can manifest a range of health issues, including:
Notably, Nipah virus infection presents symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.